Register free for our breaking news email alerts with analysis and cutting edge commentary from our award winning team. Registration only takes a minute.

The Expert View: Greggs, HSBC and Hiscox

Our daily roundup of analyst commentary on shares, also including Intercontinental Hotels Group and BGEO.

Click on the arrow to the right of the picture to view the slides. The arrows to the top right then allow you to move back and forth between them.

To see all the slides on the same page, click here.

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.

Click on the arrow to the right of the picture to view the slides. The arrows to the top right then allow you to move back and forth between them.

To see all the slides on the same page, click here.

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.
Key stats
Dividend yield 2%
Market capitalisation £1,759m
No. of shares out 101m
No. of shares floating 96m
No. of employees 21,549
Trading volume (10 day avg.) 0.3m
Turnover £960m
Profit before tax £137m
Earnings per share 55.72p
Cashflow per share 108.08p
Cash per share 53.88p

Greggs sales on a roll

The high-profile launch of vegan sausage rolls has helped Greggs (GRG) deliver ‘stunning’ sales growth at the start of 2019.

Shore Capital analyst Darren Shirley retained his ‘hold’ recommendation on the stock after the baker issued a surprise trading update reporting ‘an exceptionally strong start to 2019

‘The boost to already strong trading is said to have come from the high levels of publicity surrounding the launch of the group’s vegan sausage roll at the start of the financial year,’ said Shirley.

The analyst has upgraded his forecasts and said with the stock trading on a ‘post upgrade full-year 2019 price/earnings of 20.3x… we reiterate our “hold” stance though expect the shares to perform strongly [after the trading update]’.

The shares jumped 11% to £17.78 yesterday.

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.
Key stats
Dividend yield 5.7%
Market capitalisation £127,019m
No. of shares out 20,036m
No. of shares floating 19,963m
No. of employees 233,731
Trading volume (10 day avg.) 15.5m
Turnover 31,727m USD
Profit before tax 17,533m USD
Earnings per share 0.42 USD
Cashflow per share 0.58 USD
Cash per share 10.75 USD

HSBC figures disappointing, says Interactive Investor

HSBC (HSBA) has reported a weak end to 2018, which is disappointing for investors as expectations for the bank are ‘usually high’, says Interactive Investor.

Although the bank reported an increase of 16% in pre-tax profits, this was still shy of estimates.

Analyst Richard Hunter said overall the figures are ‘strong, but not quite strong enough to allay concerns which have tended to overhang the sector as a whole’.

The shares have drifted over the past year and ‘while the bank remains a behemoth within global banking, it is also a strategic work in progress’.

‘As such, the market consensus of the shares as a “hold” is likely to remain in place until some of the planned growth comes through in earnest,’ said Hunter.

The shares fell 4% to 637.1p yesterday.

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.
Key stats
Dividend yield 1.9%
Market capitalisation £4,470m
No. of shares out 287m
No. of shares floating 273m
No. of employees 2,700
Trading volume (10 day avg.) 1m
Turnover £1,998m
Profit before tax £72m
Earnings per share 9.04p
Cashflow per share 15.96p
Cash per share 224.00p

Numis upgrades Hiscox as it lags peers

Numis has upgraded Hiscox (HSX) on the back of share price falls that have seen the specialist insurer underperform its peers.

Analyst Nick Johnson upgraded his recommendation from ‘hold’ to ‘add’ with a target price of £17.40 on the shares, which rose 1.6% to £15.64 yesterday.

Although all the catastrophe insurers have been hit by higher claims in the past year, Johnson said his general outlook was ‘positive’ due to rate increases and ongoing growth momentum.

While Hiscox shares have fallen this year, rivals Beazley and Lancashire have rallied.

‘We consider this to be an attractive entry point for a high quality business that has an excellent record of value creation and we therefore upgrade to “add”,’ said Johnson.

‘We recognise this is a somewhat speculative change of stance ahead of final results next week but we consider the balance of risks to be on the upside.’

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.
Key stats
Dividend yield 1.8%
Market capitalisation £8,291m
No. of shares out 181m
No. of shares floating 168m
No. of employees 6,658
Trading volume (10 day avg.) 0.4m
Turnover 1,393m USD
Profit before tax 671m USD
Earnings per share 2.51 USD
Cashflow per share 2.95 USD
Cash per share 0.80 USD

More to come at Intercontinental Hotels

Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) has delivered higher revenues and profits in the past six months and Hargreaves Lansdown says there is ‘plenty more to come’.

The addition of 56,000 new rooms has seen the hotel group increase revenues and profits in the half year, and increase the interim dividend by 10%. It also paid a $500 million special dividend meaning the group returned $700 million to shareholders last year.

Analyst George Salmon said with a record number of rooms in the pipeline ‘investors will be hopeful there’s plenty more to come’ but Chinese growth figures and US president Donald Trump’s next move are ‘looming doubts over the group’s two most important geographies’.

‘The capital-light model means IHG is less exposed to the ups and downs of the cycle than it used to be, but a downturn would still hurt,’ said Salmon.

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.
Key stats
Dividend yield 4.4%
Market capitalisation £809m
No. of shares out 48m
No. of shares floating 37m
No. of employees 7,300
Trading volume (10 day avg.) 0m
Turnover 333m
Profit before tax 277m
Earnings per share 2.81
Cashflow per share 3.31
Cash per share 14.47

Peel Hunt downgrades Bank of Georgia

Peel Hunt has downgraded Bank of Georgia (BGEO) as although it remains ‘bullish’ on the Georgian banking sector, macroeconomic uncertainties are weighing.

Analyst Anthony Da Costa downgraded his recommendation from ‘buy’ to ‘add’ and reduced the target price from £22.50 to £19.00. The shares fell 1.7% to £16.95 yesterday.

 ‘We remain bullish on the Georgian banking sector but given global macroeconomic uncertainties, we moderate growth in our longer-term forecasts,’ he said.

He said the Georgian economy ‘remains strong’ and the bank was ‘well positioned to have another solid year’.

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.
Citywire TV
Play Citywire 20: Investec's du Toit on managing the 'jerk factor'

Citywire 20: Investec's du Toit on managing the 'jerk factor'

Investec boss Hendrik du Toit believes he has become far more decisive over the last 20 years, especially when it comes to managing 'jerk' factor.

Play Citywire 20: Hugh Young's bleak lesson

Citywire 20: Hugh Young's bleak lesson

In the latest video to mark Citywire's 20th birthday, Aberdeen Standard Investments Asia head reminisces about one of the toughest periods in his career.

Play IWD 2019 video: fund and wealth figures define diversity

IWD 2019 video: fund and wealth figures define diversity

To mark International Women's Day, we have spoken to a variety of top fund houses and wealth managers about their definition of diversity, and how they hope to achieve a more inclusive workplace.

Read More
Your Business: Cover Star Club

Profile: Richard Whitehead - 'In my 20s, I was very difficult to work with'

1 Comment Profile: Richard Whitehead - 'In my 20s, I was very difficult to work with'

Dart Capital boss Richard Whitehead is at a pivot point for the business, and looking back to assess where he is, as much as he is looking forward

Wealth Manager on Twitter